TEEEL is an electronic producer/songwriter from New Jersey and owner of the electronic music label, Synth Records (Synthemesc).
Inspired by synthesizers and the 80s new wave movement, Teeel credits his sound to marathon movie watching and being an obsessive gear head. Creating music in a 10×10 teal painted room, stacked with synthesizers and guitars; TEEEL produces music that ranges from hypnotic synthpop to dreamy disco and dark electronica.
1. Top three (or more) tips for new and emerging talent to stay afloat and last long term.
a. Work hard and push yourself to excellence. If you’re not happy with your art, keep at it until it’s ready to be shared with the world.
b. Be original and don’t try to do something someone else is doing. I think it’s great to reference and be inspired by another artist but, really try to do something that sets you apart from everyone else.
c. At the end of the day, happiness and satisfaction from your hobby is all that matters. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Keep it exciting.
2. What has been one of the toughest music related experiences you’ve faced?
I find it really hard to maintain a successful music career while working a full-time job, being a homeowner, married, etc. It’s all about time management. The quality of your art is all about the time you put into it. The only way I’m able to achieve artistic happiness is, having to stay up late to work on my music. I’m sure every artist goes through this. You either have to quit your job and make music full-time while struggling to cover your bills or work full-time and strive to “make time” for your passion. It’s all about finding the balance.
3. How did you get through or deal with it?
It’s still a constant struggle. I generally go into work every day, extremely exhausted from staying up too late the night before. I know I’m harming my body but I don’t really know what else to do. It’s hard for me to go to bed at a normal hour when I know I can be working and creating music. I feel like my most creative moments happen when I’m alone and the world is asleep.
4. What did you learn?
I haven’t really learned my lesson; I still stay up too late and work on music into the wee hours. [laughs] I know eventually it’ll catch up with me and I’ll have to go to bed at a normal hour but for now, I’m going to keep at it. I have a lot of energy and always say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
5. What music/entertainment related book, Blog, film or documentary would you recommend to inspire someone and why?
“Synth Brittiania” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69Wjc6QYuKI) is a BBC documentary on early synthesizer culture. I’ve probably watched it over 20 times. It features most of my favourite musicians, takes a look at early synthpop, features some really rare footage and is truly inspiring. Also, being such a synthesizer fan, I use my personal blog http://www.iheartsynths.com as a bookmark for my favourite studio tours and interviews, synthesizer reviews and vintage advertisements.